RICHMOND -- If being eager could catch fish, the 16 kids who participated in Richmond Rec’s Huck Finn Day on Saturday all should have caught whales.
They started arriving an hour before the 9 a.m. start time to stake out their favorite fishing spots, forsaking even the Dunkin’ Donuts that the Wyoming store donated until they were set up. More kids began to arrive as the time for the derby grew nearer, and before long the pond behind Richmond Elementary School was lined with hopeful anglers.
“Good morning!” called Richmond Recreation Director Charlotte Markey. She had intended to go on and welcome everyone and do a countdown to the official beginning, but it was too late: the kids couldn’t stand to wait any longer and cast into the pond.
Within moments, there were shouts of delight as 10-year-old Sophia Fabrizio brought in the first fish. Although it escaped just as it reached the shore, it counted as the first caught. It wasn’t long before several more fish were caught, as kids scrambled to cast, rebait their hooks, and shout for help.
The derby started with a flurry of activity, but 20 minutes later the fish decided to take a break. That was where eagerness began to slide to just a bit of impatience. One girl had a hook baited, cast her line, and promptly turned to her mom and said, “No fish!”
By the time the derby ended, there were trophies for six children and complete fishing equipment setups for five other lucky kids. Even as the prizes were being given out, the trout ended their coffee break and began to grab the bait once more.
That was enough to restore the enthusiasm for many of the kids, who now began asking parents to stay and fish. Eagerness surged once more, and there were smiles all around. “This was a terrific time!” Markey said as happy anglers collected their winnings.